Obituaries 8.19.20

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Anna Mae (Wiersma) Terhune

One granddaughter’s perspective:

“A legacy can be thought of as physical, but I think of a family legacy as a system of values, shared memories, and faith embraced from generation to generation.

My gram, Anna Mae (Wiersma) Terhune, died Saturday, August 1, 2020, at age 99.

She shed her earthly body and is with gramp in heaven now.  Reflecting on her, their relationship, and the family I was born into, I see an incredible legacy, not a financial one.  Money wasn’t emphasized, but a legacy of faith, relationships, food, and fellowship was.

I grew up as one of 35 grandchildren who enjoyed many days and nights congregating at my grandparents’ house by Willoughby Lake.  Gram fed us, read to us, took us swimming, encouraged us, challenged us, and most of all, loved us.  Every single grandchild was touched by her devotion to God and her love of her family.

I hoped to be in North Carolina with her for her ninety-ninth birthday in April, but COVID-19 changed my plans.  Gram knew her body and knew it was time to come home to Vermont this summer and be close to her Vermont family.  She died just five weeks after arriving.

Her influence on my life will always stay with me.  She was a mother of eight children, grandmother to 35, great-grandmother to 86, and a great-great-grandmother to six.  She leaves a huge hole, but she raised amazing children and grandchildren who know how to take her place.”

About Mom:

Anna Mae (Wiersma) Terhune was born April 22, 1921, to Henry P. and Emma (Van Dyke) Wiersma in Zeeland, Michigan.  She had five brothers and two sisters; 13 nieces and nephews; and one sister, Ruth (Wiersma) Steiffler of Corning, New York, who survives her.

She attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan, transferred to Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, earning a bachelor of science degree in biology, and then went on to Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, earning a master’s of science degree in nursing.  At Wheaton College she met Dad, Paul Jackson Terhune, the love of her life, from Westfield, New Jersey.  They were married in June 1945, and so began their big story together.

After a few years together in Michigan, they moved with several children to New Jersey where the rest of their eight children came along.  Things got interesting when, in 1965, they moved with seven still at home from Plainfield, New Jersey, to very rural Brownington.

Paul and Anna were adventurous, and rural living was great for the family.  After a few years in Brownington they lived for a short time in East Charleston until in 1971 they bought their house in Westmore by Willoughby Lake.  Anna practiced nursing in several capacities over the years, beginning in 1960 when her youngest entered school.  She practiced in New Jersey at Muhlenburg Hospital in Plainfield, then became director of nursing at John E. Runnells in Berkley Heights.

In Vermont, she was the hospital administrator and nursing director for about five years at North Country Hospital in Newport.  After that, she worked in Vermont public health nursing for nearly 20 years, interspersed with caring for Paul in his last ten years of ill health.

They are survived by their children:  Barbara Thursby and her husband, Tom, of North Carolina,  Walter Terhune III and his wife, Terry, of Georgia, Susan Terhune of North Carolina, Janice Farrar and her husband, Douglas, of Vermont, Jerry Terhune and his wife, Faye, of Pennsylvania, Martha Trudeau and her husband, Michael, of Vermont, and Timothy Terhune and his wife, Laurie, of Vermont.

She was predeceased by her daughter Laura Joy (Terhune) Sanders in 1974.

“The days of our lives are seventy years;                                                                                                              And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,                                                                                             yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;                                                                                                                For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.                                                                                                                    …So teach us to number our days,                                                                                                                        That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” — (Psalms 90: 10, 12)

Anna Mae Terhune “flew away” August 1, 2020, after a short stay at North Country Hospital in Newport, surrounded by many of her children and grandchildren.  Anna and Paul left a legacy of shared memories, values, and faith in Jesus Christ that continue to be embraced from generation to generation.


Robert Burton Maxwell

Robert Burton Maxwell, 84, of Island Pond died at his home on Saturday, August 8, 2020, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on December 6, 1935, in Island Pond to Claude and Blanche (Stevens) Maxwell.

On July 2, 1955, he married Charlene Moulton, who survives him.

He graduated from Brighton High School.

Robert was a self-employed heavy equipment operator, and a member of the Vermont National Guard.  Among his many hobbies, he enjoyed maple sugaring, cutting firewood, running the dozer, hunting, fishing, reading, watching political news, and just being outside.

Robert was a member of the First Congregational Church in Island Pond.  He was a man of faith and his faith was placed in Jesus Christ for eternal life according to God’s word. The reality of that faith was manifested in far more than the words he spoke, but also by the way he lived.

He is survived by his wife, Charlene Maxwell, of Island Pond; his children: Diane Robillard and her husband, Pierre, of California, Brian Maxwell and his wife, Katherine, of Island Pond, and Gary Maxwell and his wife, Nancy, of Island Pond; his grandchildren:  Daniel, Derek, Sonya, Jesse, Zachary, Kaitlyn, Michiah, Matthew, Chantal, and Christina; his great-grandchildren:  Joshua, Jacob, Brayden, Kayde, Kolton, Jaxson, Kyah, Keria, Carson, Albie, Evrette, Iris, Gunner, Natalie, Hannah, Nolan, Jacob, and Kendall; his siblings:  June Bingham of Island Pond, Blaine Maxwell of Island Pond, Dwight Maxwell and his wife, Carole, of Island Pond, and Douglas Maxwell and his wife, Marilyn, of Island Pond; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his granddaughter Savannah Maxwell; his sister Joyce Cross; and by his in-laws:  Barbara Maxwell, Ralph Bingham, and Wyman Cross.

Funeral services were held on August 18 at the First Congregational Church in Island Pond with the Reverend Alan Magoon officiating.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the First Congregational Church, 21 Middle Street, Island Pond, Vermont 05846, or to the Orleans-Essex Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, Inc., 46 Lakemont Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be made at




Merna B. Ashman

Merna B. Ashman, 86, of Newport died on Saturday, August 15, 2020, in Newport.  The services will be private.  A full obituary will follow in next week’s edition.


Agnes DeGraaf Boelens

Agnes DeGraaf Boelens, 76, went to be home with her Lord when she died on Saturday, August 15, 2020.  She died peacefully at home, surrounded by love, after struggling with interstitial lung disease.

Her celebration of life will be held at a later date in the fall.  Online condolences may be made at




Duane Paul Smith

A graveside memorial service for Duane Paul Smith, who died on February 28, 2020, will be held at noon on Saturday, August 29, at the Sulphur Spring Cemetery in Wheelock Village.  It will be followed by a celebration of life to be held at the Smith Family Homestead at 1 p.m.


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